Last summer, Will Wesson, Rob Heule and Sämi Ortlieb spent some time at Zermatt Resort in Switzerland to film one hell of a video series dubbed Glacier Days. The skiing, music and artistic direction used throughout the four episodes were all on point in every way, and for the past year, we could only hope that they’d do it all over again.
Well, good news: Glacier Days is back, folks. And the first episode of the summer will be dropping within the next week or two, so we caught up with the crew—who brought on filmer Jeff Kohnstamm this time around—to see what’s goin’ on.
Yo, guys! What’s happenin’? How was the 2015-16 season?
Will Wesson: This season was pretty good. Lots of filming and travel.
Rob Heule: So much fun. Skied with Sämi and Will lots and we all filmed for the Level 1 movie.
Sämi Ortlieb: The season started out pretty slow with not too much snow in Switzerland but it got pretty busy and wild as the season evolved.
Jeff Kohnstamm: I had a great time; finished junior year at University of Utah, the Wasatch almost had a normal winter and Mt. Hood had some great corn skiing late spring and early summer.
So, you’re in Switzerland and that is F’ing sweet. How does it feel?
WW: Switzerland is definitely of of my favorite places. You can’t go anywhere without double-taking to look at the scenery.
RH: Expensive, but the most beautiful.
SO: Feels like home.
JK: Magical all around, for certain.
A few of you were at Zermatt last year for some summer shredding. What brings you back this year?
WW: The main reason I’m back is our friend—and head park manager of Zermatt—Marcel Brunisholz. It’s rare to find a park boss who hits all the features everyday and is truly passionate about his job while being open to new ideas and down to build unorthodox features. It’s not cheap to travel and live in Switzerland, but you won’t find a summer park anywhere else like this one.
RH: Yeah, Will nailed that. Marcel kills it, and the park is very special here. I brought my brother Jay along this time, too. And it’s his first time to Europe, so I thought that’d be fun!
JK: I invited myself because I thought, “Hey these guys could really use a filmer.” Blessed to walk into such an awesome gig—we owe it all to Marcel.
Sämi: As the only Switzerland local, what’s it like having these guys around and showing them your stomping grounds?
SO: It’s cray cray in a good way. I love having these guys around; they bring a new flavor to the scene, like a little ketchup on your raclette. American flavor in the Alps.
The rest of you: What’s it like having Sämi as a tour guide?
WW: We would be completely lost without his help and his crazy ski ideas always lead somewhere interesting.
RH: It’d be impossible without Sämi. None of us speak Swiss-German, so we’d be having a hard time. He’s the idea man behind the project.
Jeff: As filmer extraordinaire of the crew, what kind of artistic direction are you planning on taking with the series?
JK: I just want to ski with these guys, capture the memories and edit all of it to music I’ve made. I want to let the experience dictate what happens artistically. Don’t want to force anything.
You’ve each spent time doing summer shredding all over the place. What’s different about skiing and filming at Zermatt?
WW: Whistler and Hood are both some of my favorites as well, but Zermatt is pretty unique. As I mentioned before, Marcel building the park and being open to new ideas allows us to literally bring our dreams to reality.
RH: It’s pretty unreal skiing at 3,800 meters on a massive glacier with a bunch of other glaciers and huge mountains surrounding you. Though it does take a little to acclimatize to the elevation.
SO: Zermatt is a special place—it is dear in my heart. The setting is glorious and the park is insane. One of the best summer parks in the world.
JK: Summer skiing at Timberline on Mt. Hood doesn’t actually take place on a glacier, contrary to popular belief. It happens on a seasonal snowfield which does melt out. The elevation of where we are skiing here is also 4,000 feet higher than where the Windells lane is. The tram ride to get to the glacier here is also insane—the most scenic ride ever. Steinbocks also litter the slopes, as well as sheep, marmot and bright blue pools of glacial runoff. It’s a great place to be really freakin’ jet-lagged.
What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the hill thus far?
RH: Just kooky Euros; there are some people with pretty amazing ski kits here.
SO: These American guys just geek out on everything. Today Will spent like 30 minutes taking photos of steinbocks; he is a nerd for sure.
JK: These bros on top of the quarterpipe admiring Rob falling.
Out of the whole crew, who can eat the most Swiss chocolate in one sitting?
WW: Most definitely me. I eat a lot of everything.
RH: Maybe we should find out… That would make for an interesting video.
Anything else you’d like to add?
WW: Thanks to Sämi, David, Marcel and our sponsors for making this possible!
RH: Thanks to everybody who has a positive attitude towards the sport of skiing, and is doing it because it’s the most fun!
SO: Big thanks to Marcel!
JK: Super thankful to be here!
Episode 1 of this year’s Glacier Days series will be launching in no time. But, until then, relive last year’s episodes and keep the stoke high.